Queen Elizabeth’s funeral begins with a procession of members of the Royal Family to Westminster Abbey
Queen Elizabeth is honored for her life of service.
The historic monarch’s state funeral began at 11 a.m. local time at Westminster Abbey in London. The Queen’s time in state ended earlier in the morning, with the very last members of the public ushered into Westminster Hall around 6.30am.
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When the coffin emerged from Westminster Hall, it was draped with the Royal Standard, on which rested the Imperial Crown of State, orb and scepter with a crown of flowers chosen by King Charles III. The wreath included flowers and foliage cut from the gardens of Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Charles’ country home at Highgrove House.
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Rosemary was included for remembrance along with myrtle, the symbol of a happy marriage, cut from a plant that grew from a sprig of myrtle in the Queen’s wedding bouquet in 1947.
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The pedunculate oak, which symbolizes the strength of love, was there alongside fragrant pelargoniums: garden roses, autumn hydrangeas, sedum, dahlias and scabious in shades of gold, pink and deep burgundy with touches white to match the Royal Standard.
Reflecting Charles’ commitment to the environment, the wreath has been sustainably crafted, in a nest of English moss and oak branches and without the use of floral foam.
There was also a note on the coffin, believed to be from King Charles. (At Prince Philip’s funeral last year, there was a handwritten note from Queen Elizabeth to her husband.)
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His coffin was processed on the Royal Navy’s State Gun Carriage from the Medieval Hall to Westminster Abbey. His son and successor, King Charles, walked behind the coffin along with other members of the royal family.
More than 2,000 people, including world leaders and foreign royals, watched as the coffin was carried down the same aisle that Queen Elizabeth walked to marry Prince Philip nearly 76 years before.
The funeral service will be led by David Hoyle, Dean of Westminster, with readings from Prime Minister Liz Truss and Patricia Scotland, Commonwealth Secretary General. Prayers will be recited by the Archbishop of York, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and the Moderator of the Free Churches.
MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images Prince William and Prince Harry
Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, will deliver the sermon and commendation, followed by a benediction from the Dean of Windsor.
Five minutes before noon, the Last Post (the traditional British infantry bugle call, honoring the dead) was played, and a two-minute silence was observed both in Westminster Abbey and throughout the United Kingdom.
Afterwards, the congregation sang the national anthem – now “God Save the King” – as the service officially ends at 12 p.m.
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Her Majesty’s coffin passed through Westminster again and was returned to the State Gun Carriage, to be transported to Wellington’s Arch in Hyde Park. His family will follow for the 1 ½ mile journey, escorted by detachments of the Commonwealth Armed Forces.
During the dark march, the King’s Troop fired shots into Hyde Park and Big Ben rang.
At Wellington Arch (the original entrance to Buckingham Palace) the coffin will be moved into the State Hearse. The car will drive one hour west to Windsor Castle, where the Queen will be buried in St. George’s Chapel.
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As the hearse took off, bound for Her Majesty’s final resting place, the parade gave a royal salute and “God Save the King” played again.
King Charles and his family then drove to Windsor, where the Queen will be buried privately at St George’s Chapel this evening after a Committal Service.